Ok, so here is the deal.
On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 more than100 LGBTQ people and allies rallied inside the City Council Chambers once again. This time we were rallying to speak against the rescinding of the LGBTQ proclamation, the resolution (see below) to replace that proclamation, and the possibility of changing the proclamation granting process. All items were on the agenda to be discussed.
(Below is a copy of the proposed resolution penned by Councilman Brian Ward that is supposed to replace the LGBTQ proclamation)
Here are my personal thoughts on the above resolution:
A majority, if not all of us that showed up that night believed we would get an answer on Tuesday if the City Councilmen even had the authority to rescind the proclamation. Secondly, we thought the agenda items would be voted on that same night.
Well, it turns out due to the wording of the previously mentioned agenda items they could not be discussed any further than a mere vote from Council if they wanted to vote on said items. If the Council had discussed or even made action on any of the items this would have been in violation of the Brown Act.
The Brown Act, to my understanding is California Legislature that guarantees the public's right to attend and participate in local government happenings.
Phew.. Okay.. I hope I got that down correctly.
Essentially, they voted to vote on the items in a meeting to follow.
As of right now the LGBTQ proclamation still stands!
However, these agenda items are to be voted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 by City Council.
Ok, so those are the details of what's going on as of right now....Now the fun stuff.
The LGBTQ folks of Porterville and our allies really stepped up to the plate Tuesday night during the oral communications portion of the meeting. We were respectful, articulate, and genuine in our words. I am really proud of the way our community stepped up and how we handled ourselves.
There were 120 rainbow ribbons prepared to wear for Tuesday night and we left with only 12! In addition to that, we provided the City Council with a petition demanding the proclamation stay. The proclamation had over 800 signatures. 320 of those signatures are Porterville residents. The petition is still active and collecting signatures, currently at 1,030. It is linked to the bottom of this article to sign and share if you haven't had the opportunity to do so.
(We had strength in numbers Tuesday night.)
If you have the time to watch the videos from the Council meeting, I encourage it. The videos are little more tame this time around but still just as jaw dropping outrageous from our opponents.
There were two sessions of oral communications.
The first round of oral communications vid:
The second round of oral communications was closer to 10pm.
Film crew's and majority of the audience left, here is what an audience members camera's caught:
A couple more videos can be found here: Council to discuss - Porterville Recorder
This story is starting to pick up and spread through other outlets:
Currently, we have a petition going around addressed to the City Council Members demanding they leave the LGBTQ proclamation in tact. As of right now we have gathered 1,030 signatures with approximately 330 of those being Porterville residents. Please, if you have not signed it yet please do so and share it: Demand the Proclamation Stand!